Light Rail: What works for Raleigh


I think RTP could work as a commuter rail stop, but it would require a dedicated shuttle bus running up and down the spine of RTP stopping at all of the major offices. It would obviously have to run at frequent intervals and be timed to meet the trains. It could be done though.


I’m not an economist, but. . . .oil prices are low now yet the U.S. continues to subsidize the production side (oil exploration/discovery) with tax dollars. Since prices are low you can argue that these subsidies are not needed.

Also, the federal excise tax on gasoline has not been increased since 1993.


When oil prices are low subsidies are needed more than when oil prices are high. Oil companies make more money when prices are higher…


In 2016 we passed a transportation bond in Wake County that includes commuter rail between Garner and Durham. As far as I know that’s still the plan.


I also think this could help a lot with normalizing public transit use in the local area. If people in their office start hearing about their coworkers taking the LR+connector in and avoiding most of the traffic, it could do a lot to increase political will to expand service.


Not like Amtrak in what regard?


I’m going to guess that he means that maybe have it run more than 4 times a day, just for starters.


I just meant I don’t think taking an Amtrak train from Union Station to downtown Durham is what we’re talking about.


So, it begs the question “Why not?”. Why wouldn’t we look at Amtrak as an option for commuter purposes until such time that a commuter rail became operational?


Your confusing buyer side subsidies with development subsidies.


I don’t know. Maybe it is an option. I’m not trying to speak against it, I had just made an off hand comment. I’m honestly not even sure the route Amtrak takes. Is it through RTP and by PNC?


Commuter rail wouldn’t work with stops to RDU/PNC as it is going to use the existing rail corridor. It gets closest to PNC around Trinity/West Chatham in Cary and to RDU around Aviation/54 in Morrisville. There aren’t stops or ways to branch off in either location. The only way to hit those two locales, I think would be with light rail which isn’t going to happen.

The train from Union Station to Durham is useful tho for a quick trip between cities. I think it’s $15 round trip. We use it to pop over to the Bull City for a Saturday afternoon of hanging out (day drinking) and occasionally for dinner. More frequent trains would be a lot nicer tho.


Maybe I’ll give that a shot sometime. I’ve never actually ridden Amtrak before.


Per person? I find that surprising…:thinking:


$30 bucks round trip for two people.
It’s cheaper than an Uber


I’ve been wanting to do this for a while :grin: Sounds like you know how to enjoy the bull city


I moved Back to Raleigh in 2003, and I heard too of possibly having light rail in the triangle, and yet nothing, my concern is that if any kind of rail happens, it will take a lot of folks to get a custom to riding the rail line to/from work. since Raleigh is a “car dependent” town. I’m just concern of the Outcome, meaning heavier traffic around the region, congestion and delays.


He’s correct, I looked it up. I kind of like this idea. I think I might also try it for day trips to Greensboro. They’re pretty cheap too, and beats driving back.
This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to commuter rail


I’ve taken Amtrak to Greensboro for work several times. If your destination is in DT Greensboro, its super convenient. I typically set up and work from the train for an hour in the morning and then listen to a podcast for the hour trip back.


So I ride the bus for about 90% of my transportation, and something really interesting to me is how the bus already does a lot of what people want from light rail, pretty well. For example. Getting to the airport on the 100 bus is really easy. It runs from downtown, down Hillsborough st, and to the airport. It takes about 28 minutes, runs every 30 minutes, and costs $2.25 each way. To me there are two big and one small reason why people are not considering it (people do actually use it). The small reason is that it is not some type of Rail, and “if I just had rail I would take it!”. The bigger reasons are: 1. It is really easy to get to the airport in a car or a lyft, so people do that instead. Many many people do that every day, and people brag about how easy our airport is to use (by car) all the time. The second big reason #2. Is that people need to actually get to the bus lines, to then take them to the airport. If you live even 3 miles off of the corridor or way out in North Raleigh that means heading to downtown or along Hillsborough street, parking, and catching it there. This takes enough time and effort, that makes the easy drive to the airport look really appealing. An issue with thinking rail is a game changer for going to the airport is that those two big reasons people don’t take the bus still don’t change with rail. I am from Atlanta, and people love to say that the only place Marta goes is to the Airport, but people don’t mistake that with meaning Marta is successful. There is however a very interesting correlation between people wanting Rail, and locations that involve paying for parking. :slight_smile: So for people who use cars a lot, the places that naturally make them think of transit are the ones where they have to pay to park and/or fight lots of congestion. (PNC and the Airport).

The current development pattern in Raleigh is to spread out all the people and jobs, then when a choke point comes up to widen roads until it’s not that bad. If you look at the BRT route for New Bern, many less sexy things are possible compared to rail to the Airport. People (who already use the bus a lot in the area) can get to jobs and back home much faster, and then if we concentrate development that does not allow parking around it, more and more people will use said transit. I think it is really interesting to compare to rail to the airport because it seem like BRT on New Bern can be 2 times the success at way way less than half the price.